Survey: it’s a stay at home New Year’s Eve

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The majority of Brits are planning to stay in with friends and family this New Year’s Eve rather than going out to celebrate, according to new research from Halifax.

Despite the cost-cutting, however, many are not considering their finances for 2012, with less than half taking the time to set a budget for 2012.

With many keen to keep hold of their purse strings, only 15 per cent are planning on going out with friends and family to celebrate on the 31st, with more than half opting to stay in.

In 2010, more than a quarter of 25 to 34 year olds ventured out, while not even one fifth are considering it this year.

But there are some clear regional and age differences. Those is the West Midlands are most likely to have a night on the town this year, with just over a fifth (21%) planning to go out. People in Northern Ireland, on the other hand, are the most likely to stay in with friends or family.

Unsurprisingly, 37 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 will be going out, compared to only 11 per cent of those aged 55 and over.

Part of the decreased appetite for heading out is down to the ‘New Year’s Eve Premium’, with many knowing they will have to pay more for their products and services. On a normal night out, 25 to 34 year-olds expect to spend on average £55.89, jumping to £63.91 at New Year’s Eve.

Despite fears of a tough year ahead, less than half of people are planning to set a budget for 2012. Of those who are planning to set a 2012 budget, however, seven in 10 will not be seeking any kind of advice whatsoever, and only four per cent will be speaking with a financial expert.

In the UK, less than half (44 per cent) of people set a budget on their general spending in 2011. When reviewing their 2011 budgets, 69 per cent of those that did make some plans were able to stick to them, while more than two fifths (41 per cent) of those aged 25 to 34 exceeded their budget.

Anthony Warrington of the Halifax said: “It seems most people across the UK are opting to stay in this New Year’s Eve and avoiding the premium placed on the night compared to other nights out.

“We have seen a trend of paying down debts this year and it is unsurprising many don’t want to break the habit on the 31st and enjoy an alternative New Year’s Eve with their friends and family indoors.

“Budgeting is a key consideration and it is certainly important that families and individuals do look to manage their budgets effectively in 2012. It is not necessarily about curbing your spending, but about knowing where your money is going and what is coming in.”